Expenses probe in to claims

County Council chairman Robin Baldry presents the proceeds of the charity evening held at Buxton Opera House to Charles Stephenson, Derbyshire branch chairman of SSAFA
County Council chairman Robin Baldry presents the proceeds of the charity evening held at Buxton Opera House to Charles Stephenson, Derbyshire branch chairman of SSAFA
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Derbyshire County Council Chairman Robin Baldry has been reported to the police over allegations that there have been irregularities in his expenses claims.

The councillor, who last week announced that he would not be standing in May’s Borough Council elections for health reasons, has not been suspended from the authority of which he is the figurehead.

The Mercury has learned that Cllr Baldry is the councillor in question, although no-one at the county council would confirm this.

However, a spokeswoman said: “Irregularities in the expense claims of a county councillor have been referred to Derbyshire police following an internal audit investigation by the county council.

“The issue came to light during a routine review of councillors’ mileage and subsistence expense claims.”

Cllr Kevin Parkinson, Chief Whip of the Derbyshire County Council Conservative Group, added: “Immediate action was taken as soon as notification was received of the referral of a County Council Internal Audit Report relating to a Member of our Group to the Police .

“The Member in question was issued with a notice of intended suspension several days ago.

“Additional steps will be taken if the police decide it is appropriate to proceed further.”

Cllr Baldry, of Buxton, is a former Mayor of the High Peak and has been the authority’s public face since June 2009, running council meetings, presenting awards and performing other civic duties.

A police spokesman said: “Derbyshire police can confirm a criminal complaint has been referred to them by Derbyshire County Council.

“The investigation is at an early stage but it is ongoing.”

Cllr Baldry’s two-year stint as chairman is set to end at the council’s annual general meeting later this month.